Universität Wien FIND

180164 SE Mental Representation (2019W)

Propositional attitudes and mental content

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work

Moodle; We 11.12. 11:30-13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock

Registration/Deregistration

Details

max. 30 participants
Language: German

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Wednesday 09.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 16.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 23.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 30.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 13.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 20.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 27.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 08.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 15.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 22.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock
Wednesday 29.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal. 2H NIG 2.Stock

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

As animals endowed with consciousness, humans have the ability to mentally represent their environment. S a fundamental question in the philosophy of mind is: What is mental representation? In the seminar, we will focus on two kinds of answers: (1) Theories that posit internal mental vehicles that represent the world – such as internal-sentence theories and the Language of Thought Hypothesis, and (2) Theories that do not posit such internal, sentence-like structure to mental representation but thinks of it in analogy to how maps represent the world – such as possible-worlds views of mental content and measure-theoretic views of the mind.

Based on these two kinds of views of mental representation, we will study mental representation with special attention to the representation of incoherent, or fragmented states of mind. A state of mind is fragmented in case its representation of the world is not amount to a single, coherent and unified mental picture but instead consists in a number of loosely related and possibly incompatible fragments, each of which represents some aspects of the world. Fragmentation views have attracted new attention in recent philosophy of mind and in epistemology. In the seminar, we will some of the basic views from the 1980s (David Lewis, Robert Stalnaker) and look at recent developments. We will read articles from the forthcoming collection “The Fragmented Mind”.

Among the goals of the course, participants should
+ learn about and understand some foundational theories of mental representation in philosophy of mind and be able to compare and critically reflect on them,
+ learn to recognise and analyse the problems these theories have with modelling and explaining incoherent belief states and otherwise 'insufficient' representational mental states,
+ learn about the most important theories of mental fragmentation, be able to compare and critically reflect on them,
+ become familiar with recent research on mental fragmentation and be able to navigate this growing area of research,
+ be able to find their own position in the logical space of current theorizing about mental fragmentation in contemporary philosophy of mind and to produce a research contribution in their seminar paper.

Assessment and permitted materials

20% Leading seminar discussion in one session
20% Summaries of readings (10x)
60% Essay

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

By enrolling in this course you agree that the anti-plagiarism software Turnitin will be used to check all of your submissions on Moodle.

Examination topics

Reading list

Overview on the seminar topics:
1) Mental representation: Pitt, David, "Mental Representation", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/mental-representation/>, especially §§1, 2, 6, 8, 9
2) Mental Content – Language of Thought vs Map Theory: D. Braddon-Mitchell & F. Jackson (2013). The Philosophy of Mind and Cognition: An Introduction. Blackwell, chapters 10 & 11
3) Fragmentation of Mind: A. Egan (2008): "Seeing and believing: perception, belief formation and the divided mind", Philosophical Studies 140(1), especially §§ 1-2.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Tu 01.10.2019 19:08